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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Allison Tant's plans for the Fla Dem party



tant.jpgclendenin.jpgFormer lobbyist Allison Tant (left) of Tallahassee, in an unpredictable race for Florida Democratic chairman against Tampa activist Alan Clendenin, today fleshed out her vision for leading the party. Clendenin (right) had long ago spelled out his plan but Tant was a late entry into the race having been recruited by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and promptly endorsed by Sen. Bill Nelson.


Here's Tant's email:

Fellow Democrats:

With 2013 upon us, I am very excited about the opportunities ahead for Florida Democrats. As I travel the state, so many of you have shared with me your goals and outlook for the Florida Democratic Party. I have enjoyed spending time listening to many great ideas of how we can build a stronger Florida Democratic Party.

For me, the path forward is clear.

With a coordinated campaign, a strong message and successful fundraising, we can position the Florida Democratic Party to win important elections and regain control of the Governor’s Mansion and Cabinet offices. By securing high-tech infrastructures and empowering our local democratic parties, we will recruit stronger candidates and achieve greater victories that will grow our numbers in the state legislature and at the county and municipal levels of government.

Five Pillars of Success

The successes and victories of 2012 for Florida Democrats must continue so we can achieve the change that has eluded Florida for too long. There is no question that the work ahead will not be easy and it will require a united Florida Democratic Party that holds Rick Scott and the Republican legislature accountable for the wrongheaded policies that hurt millions of families. To achieve the successes we envision, as Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, I will implement the Five Pillars of Success to guide our reforms, policies and decision-making. It will serve as a blueprint for a campaign plan that sends Rick Scot and his allies packing in November 2014. Outlined below are each of the Pillars that will help shape the direction of a new, robust Florida Democratic Party.

1. Empower Local Democratic Parties

The Florida Democratic Party can be its strongest when we empower local Democratic parties across the state. By positioning the Florida Democratic Party to serve as a hub of resources for local Democratic parties we can better provide key resources, such as email management programs, voter contact programs and fundraising softwares at cost effective prices. When local Democratic parties partner with the state party by utilizing the same programs and systems we can have a fully integrated system that streamlines data sharing and allows for real-time information sharing. As a component of strengthening the position of the state party and empower our local parties, I would like to add regional staff to help with fundraising, field and political activities. Additionally, the Florida Democratic Party will make investments in leadership development and trainings to allow for team building and leadership skills to grow from the bottom up.

2. Secure High-Tech Infrastructures

In 2008 and 2012, we learned the benefits of having high-tech infrastructures as part of campaign operations. In particular, 2012 showed that President Obama’s electoral successes in battleground states like Florida was highly dependent on data management and voter targeting. As part of an integrated and coordinated campaign operation, the Florida Democratic Party will make investments in high-tech infrastructures that include upgrades to data management programs and voter targeting systems that allow the state party, local Democratic parties and candidates to benefit from the latest technologies.

3. Recruit Strong Candidates
A central component of the Florida Democratic Party’s operations must be to identify and recruit strong candidates to run at every level of office. In 2012, Florida Democrats won up and down the ballot because of the strength of our candidates. It is important that we continue to focus our efforts in aggressive candidate outreach so we have candidates from within their communities step up and run for elected office.

4. Activate a Lasting Fundraising Operation

The successes of the Florida Democratic Party are best measured by its ability to implement an aggressive and robust fundraising operation. To implement the many components of a successful coordinated campaign operation, it requires significant resources. My focus will be to develop a lasting fundraising operation through high and small dollar contributions from Democrats across the state and nation. Florida continues to play a critical role on the national level and as such, we must harness and cultivate traditional and non-traditional donors who can make important financial commitments to the state party so we can make the needed investments around the state. In the short-term, to lay the groundwork for the critical 2014 elections, I will focus on three important tasks noted below.


Establish a Governor’s Fund – Our work to elect a Democratic Governor in 2014 is paramount. It will take significant resources, which is why I would like to immediately establish a Governor’s Fund where funds are raised to support the Democratic Nominee in the General Election.
Cultivate & Engage Obama Donors – Having spent years raising funds for President Obama’s 2008 & 2012 campaigns, I know there are many donors who contributed to President Obama, but have not invested in the Florida Democratic Party. As Chair, I will spend time cultivating these donors and bringing them on board as Florida Democratic Party donors so we can grow our donor base and fundraising capacity.
Board of Trustees – An important component of the Florida Democratic Party’s leadership structure is having a Board of Trustees to help shape and guide our fundraising operations. Through the Board of Trustees, we can expand and grow our donor base by having a committed group of Florida Democrats engaged in aggressive fundraising to achieve our ambitious goals that will allow the Pillars of Success to by fully implemented.

5. Engage Party Faithful & Activists

The countless hours contributed every day by the party faithful and activists across the state is what makes the Florida Democratic Party a success. As chair, I will continue to bring together our grassroots leaders and activists and encourage greater involvement throughout the legislative sessions and election cycles. Through leadership trainings and workshops, we can better grow our grassroots and keep them involved in key battles that take place in our state’s capital and across county and city halls. The best tool to effectively keep our grassroots leaders and activists engaged is to have open and ongoing communication. As chair, I intend to have an integrated and coordinated communications program that brings our party leaders, elected officials, grassroots leaders and activists together through the active sharing of information.

My work as your chair will be my full-time focus because the work ahead requires nothing less. The Florida Democratic Party’s Pillars of Success is an ambitious plan to build a highly coordinated and interactive state party that paves the way for us to have many victories in 2014 and beyond. However, this plan cannot be fully implemented without significant financial resources. Therefore, one of my major priorities will be to work every day to aggressively raise the dollars needed to ensure we can successful implement the Five Pillars of Success and deliver many resources to local Democratic parties across Florida. Without financial resources, none of this can get done. And more importantly, without your support, we will not move forward!

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve!

All the Best,

Allison Tant

[Last modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 3:28pm]


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